The South West Children's Heart Circle

The Heart Circle was founded in the 1970's to support children and their families undergoing cardiac surgery in Bristol. At that time the surgery took place at the Bristol Royal Infirmary within the adult cardiac unit. Many things have been learnt from this period which have in turn led to Bristol being one of the leading children's heart units in the world. You can find a lot of information on the website of the "Bristol Inquiry".

In the mid 1990's cardiac surgery for children began at the old Bristol Children's hospital with specialist paediatric surgeons. In 2001 the new Children's Hospital opened and for the first time there was a dedicated cardiac ward.

The Heart Circle is run entirely by volunteers, most of whom are the parents of children who have had surgery in the past or are currently having it. This means two things:

  • we should have a good idea of how you are feeling, but also
  • we are not medical, and nothing that the Heart Circle does should affect the relationship you have with your child's medical team.

 The Heart Circle is one of a number of groups around the country affiliated to the Children's Heart Federation. Do visit their website, as it contains a great deal of useful information.

The Heart Circle supports children undergoing surgery in Bristol, our "area" changes as the NHS policies for referring patients change. Children from the South West from Gloucestershire to Cornwall and from South Wales across to Wiltshire are normally referred to Bristol.

As a charity registered with the Charities Commission (number 267323) we file our accounts each year with the Commission, click here to see our recent accounts.


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